Decision on proposed location for new Kelowna Costco just around the corner | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Decision on proposed location for new Kelowna Costco just around the corner

Plans for a new Costco in Kelowna have been revealed.
Image Credit: Costco
January 07, 2021 - 6:30 PM

Plans to relocate Kelowna’s Costco are not without controversy, as dozens of nearby residents say they fear their quality of life will be negatively impacted by the move.

City council will decide at a public hearing next Tuesday, Jan. 12, whether to rezone a vacant property between Springfield Road, Leckie Road and Baron Road so Costco can move.
 
In advance of that hearing, the City has already received 42 letters of opposition and concern, and 10 letters of support. There has also been one petition in support with 131 signatures.

Amid concerns expressed by residents are vehicle emissions, extra traffic, more noise and diminished property values.

“Costco will have approximately 800-plus parking stalls which doesn’t mean 8,000 daily vehicles,” area resident John Ryder wrote to council. “Conservatively, considering shopper turnover, it could be 2,400 cars zipping through our neighbourhood each day to get to the megastore. Add to that the gas station. As a rough rule of thumb, each proposed pump at a gas staton generates about 100 to 300 trips per day.”

Jennifer White noted that gas stations can have a severe quality of life impact when allowed too close to homes and other inappropriate locations.

“Rather than inferring how a mega-store will complement the shopping already close by, realize the detrimental effects to all the residents who purchase their homes under the certainty that only more residences would someday occupy that vacant land,” she said. “Ask yourself  would you want to have Costco and their gas station built next door to your home.”  

While some are worried about the gas bar addition, others welcome it.

"Costco is known for driving down the ridiculous gas prices we already pay in the Okanagan and especially Kelowna," Vic Nykiforuk wrote to council.

Others are simply looking forward to the larger store and note that Costco has pledged to contribute more than $2 million toward road improvements in the area.

"We fully support the rezoning so that Costco can be relocated to this subject property," the petition states.
 
The proposed new Costco site is zoned for agricultural purposes but it is not within the Agricultural Land Reserve, has not been farmed in many decades, and has long been identified for development under the city's official community plan.

In documents submitted to the City by WSP Canada Group Limited, the store’s shown to be around 158,734 square feet, including designated space for a seasonal garden centre. The current store is 135,000 square feet.

The proposal shows room for 812 parking spots for the warehouse and 16 accessible parking spots.

There are 79 gas bar parking stalls for the gas bar, which will be situated off Baron Road, where it intersects with Durnin Road.

The plan so far is detailed and includes a proposal for landscaping and new lights along Leckie Road, which would get a lot more traffic.

Kelowna Costco has 90,000 members, employs 200 people and is the only Costco in the Okanagan. It opened in the early 1990s.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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